Cottonwood Once the Cottonwood-Oak Creek School Board approved District Superintendent Steve King’s administrative leadership plan for both Cottonwood Middle School and Dr. Daniel Bright Elementary School in 2018-2019, the next step was to decide who would be the principal – and the assistant principal – for those two schools.
The answer was easy for the school currently known as Cottonwood Middle School, as Matt Schumacher will remain principal and Heather Wacker will remain his second in command.
For Dr. Daniel Bright, clarity came Monday when the district announced that Nancy Erickson had “volunteered to step down” to become the school’s assistant principal for the upcoming school year.
For King, the voluntary demotion of Erickson is “one of the most admirable things I’ve ever seen.”
Erickson “took one for the team,” King said. “She sees the bigger picture and believes in the direction we’re headed. Nancy is everything that’s right in education.”
Erickson, who is in her eighth year as principal at DDB and in her 23rd year in COCSD schools, will be the right-hand of Jessica Vocca.
Vocca, who will move over to Dr. Daniel Bright from Cottonwood Elementary School, is in her second year as principal at CES.
Wednesday, Erickson described Vocca as a “new and vibrant principal who is a true leader in her community.”
“I would not have made this decision if [Vocca] wasn’t someone worth following,” Erickson said. “It’s going to be a great thing, a great new system for our district.”
In a letter to district staff, Erickson stated that her goal for the next few years is to be an “integral part of building two equally stellar schools.”
“My desire is to sit with Jessi Vocca during this journey as we determine how to create the best school possible for our students, families and staff,” Erickson’s letter stated. “I cannot imagine working anywhere else and if stepping down means we can all continue to work together, then I feel this move is in the best interest of our students, our families and our staff.”
Beginning in 2018-2019, both Cottonwood Middle School and Dr. Daniel Bright Elementary School will become K-8 schools as part of a realignment that will mean the district will have four schools, each as a K-8 school.
For Vocca, she will be the “fortunate one” to work alongside Erickson at the new DDB.
“She’s authentic, collaborative, flexible and understanding,” said Vocca of Erickson. “And she’s dedicated and passionate. People recognize that in her.”
With CES expected to become the site of the district’s early childhood learning center in 2018-2019, Vocca and Erickson will be joined by Title I coordinator Nicole Barrier as Dr. Daniel Bright’s three-member leadership team.
-- Follow Bill Helm on Twitter @BillHelm42